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Dad had another family...

(91 Posts)
Polarbear2 Sat 10-Apr-21 12:35:09

I’m mid 60s. Dads been dead 40 years. Mum extremely elderly. Dad was always revered by me and his family as a really good guy. Straight as a die. Kind. Very intelligent. To cut a long story short it came out yesterday via a ‘friend’ that dad had another woman for all their married lives. He chose to marry mum but kept the other one too. Turns out Mum knew and is fairly certain they had a child together. I’m so sad. Confused. Grieving I guess. My sibling died when I was young and to hear there’s possibly another sibling out there is pretty devastating. I feel I want to talk to my aunt and uncle (his brother and sister) to see if they knew. But, I know if they didn’t, I’m just spreading hurt - and if they did, it just means that everyone lied to me all my life. I feel like a hurt little girl and I have no idea what to do. I don’t know who to talk to. Mum doesn’t want to talk about it now it’s out - understandably. She’s very hurt in the remembering and has covered his pictures up. Counselling I guess is the best bet. But do I tell my uncle/aunt or keep quiet? They are very into geneology and I feel like saying here’s another one to add to your b****y family tree. Angry, hurt, sad - any advice ??

nanna8 Sat 10-Apr-21 12:39:38

If they had a child you have a half brother or sister somewhere. Personally I would want to meet them and try to find them. It is not their fault and they might be pleased to find a close family member - and so might you after the dust settles !

Sunnyoutlook Sat 10-Apr-21 12:47:07

nanna8 Completely agree with everything you’ve said.

Iam64 Sat 10-Apr-21 12:47:24

Angry, sad, hurt - the only advice that comes to me mind,is to sit with those feelings for a while. Meanwhile, yes as you suggest some form of talking therapy is a good idea. Don’t rush off trying to track down relatives till your own feelings are less raw. Look after yourself xx

geekesse Sat 10-Apr-21 12:47:51

I’m inclined to think counselling may be helpful. Discovering a family secret of this magnitude is clearly not easy for you to cope with on your own.

Nothing has actually changed. The only difference is that you know something you didn’t know before, and it has altered your view of the people involved. You can’t change the past, or what people have said or done since. What you can do is work through why it matters so much to you, and learn to re-organise your thinking so that you are no longer angry, hurt and sad.

Hithere Sat 10-Apr-21 12:47:52

This is horrible betrayal
Now that the secret is out, there is no win win

If you dont ask your aunt and uncle, you will wonder if they knew

If you ask and they knew, feelings are understandably hurt

What else your family may hide, I would wonder.

I would look for the sibling if you are interested and cut off the middleman.

BlueBelle Sat 10-Apr-21 12:56:01

Yes I would definitely have some counselling to get it all sorted in your head and be able to come to terms with this new situation I m sure your mum and dad kept you out of the loop believing it was for everyone’s sake, not as a direct lie , but to preserve the family dynamics, your mum out of loyalty and your dad out of preservation
It is hidden problem that is more common than most people believe
Your mum must have loved your dad very much if she stayed whilst knowing this and you were brought up in love and obviously had a good childhood, it’s been a shock for now and the keeping you in the dark is probably what’s hurting more than anything else, hopefully you will come to terms with this information in the future and perhaps be able to find and meet this half sibling and enjoy a relationship. It’s not their fault any more than it’s yours
Hopefully your Dad supported both families and it really doesn’t alter the love and care they gave you and your sibling it wasn’t done behind your mums back
And yes I do have experience (not my Dad, bless him ) which I won’t go into on here

Esspee Sat 10-Apr-21 12:56:01

I can understand you being extremely disappointed in your father but the rest of the family had to go along with your mother’s wishes. I would assume she tolerated the situation to try to give her children a normal life. Just think of the agony she went through.
If you have a half sibling/s wouldn’t that be wonderful. They would be innocent parties in this charade so no need to feel animosity towards them.
I think your mother needs to be supported and hopefully she might open up to you.
Please don’t let it spoil your life. Your mum and dad loved you. I suggest you speak to your aunt/uncle and tell them you know and would like their help in locating any siblings but wait until you can be less emotional.

Sara1954 Sat 10-Apr-21 12:56:02

I wouldn’t judge without knowing all the facts, you don’t really know the circumstances of your parents marriage, no child can.
I feel my dad probably had a very lonely and unfulfilled life with my mother, I can’t imagine what they ever saw in each other.
Personally, it would make me very happy to uncover a double life if I felt he’d derived some happiness from it.
I know your circumstances are different, and I’m not suggesting your parents weren’t happy, but you will never really know.

JaneJudge Sat 10-Apr-21 13:02:42

Please do as you've suggested yourself and see a counsellor. It must have been very upsetting and unnerving to be told that by your Mother out of the blue, especially as you have lost a sibling previously. Sit down with a counsellor and talk it through and see what you may or may not want out of this information first. You also have to prepare yourself that it isn't just about your wants and needs either, if you do want to pursue it further, other people may not feel the same which is why it is important for you to have support through this.
I hope you are ok flowers

Polarbear2 Sat 10-Apr-21 13:46:20

Thanks all. Just been to see mum. She’s all relaxed and smiling now. I didn’t say anything. She doesn’t need any more drama. OH just said ‘what’s up with you’ because I looked sad. He thinks it’s nothing to bother about. Now previously I’d have thought it must be me over reacting but I’m not allowing that. My feelings are genuine. I must be improving in my old age.

luluaugust Sat 10-Apr-21 13:46:56

Personally I would go back to the "friend" who told you and see what else they can tell you. I don't think you should press your mother for further information, it must have been a terrible shock for her that you suddenly knew all. Certainly a chat to somebody may help you get things straight in your own mind, I do hope so.

Polarbear2 Sat 10-Apr-21 14:19:57

I’d thought I should wait til mum dies before saying or doing anything? She can’t have too much time left. Thought it’d be kinder???

BlueBelle Sat 10-Apr-21 14:52:44

Don’t know how old your mum is but if you’re mid 60s your mum maybe mid 80 s and you could be waiting 10/15 year😂😂😂 but to be honest there’s nothing you need to do tuck it to the back of your mind and get on with life once you’re over the shock, after all it wasn’t your secret was it ? and obviously Mum came to terms with it or else she would have left your Dad and there’s nothing to suggest he was a bad man or a bad Dad just different to what you knew doesn’t necessarily make him bad though
Many men have children outside their marriage and never support them they just get out and forget it happened it seems your dad supported two houses

I d want to find my half sibling though

janeainsworth Sat 10-Apr-21 15:00:53

Big virtual hugs Polarbear. I can’t really add to what others have said, but agree with Iam64 that it’s best to wait awhile before deciding what, if anything, you want to do about this.
Yes you must feel betrayed and confused - but your father loved you and that’s something to hold on to.
Remember that if indeed you have a half-sibling, revealing your father’s double life to them could be as shattering and confusing as it has been for you.
I do wonder about the motives of the ‘friend’ who enlightened you. It’s hard to think that kindness was behind it.

timetogo2016 Sat 10-Apr-21 15:01:59

nana8 has given you sound advice.
I do agree that counciling would be a good idea and i would really try to find your sibling as they may feel exactly as you do .
And tbh,i think your mom should talk to you about it as i would feel betrayed by both parents.
Sadly you are not the first to find things like this out and you won`t be the last either.

Sara1954 Sat 10-Apr-21 15:13:07

I don’t think you need to feel betrayed. The thing to remember is that he was a good and loving dad, he may have been tempted to leave for the other woman, but he didn’t.
As for your sibling, I’m not sure I would want to stir up the past.

Polarbear2 Sat 10-Apr-21 16:00:37

bluebelle she’s 99

Sago Sat 10-Apr-21 16:08:30

I have experience of this, our dear goddaughter who is only 31 discovered her father had 2 children and a partner, she felt so betrayed, everyone knew but her.

Her father is now dead, we knew but gave him an ultimatum that he had to tell his wife and daughter or we would have no more to do with him.
It nearly cost us our relationship with a very dear goddaughter.

He left a trail of sadness and destruction.

Our goddaughter has counselling which helps, she has a relationship with her siblings but there is great geographical distance.

Please seek some support.

Sparkling Sat 10-Apr-21 16:10:06

I would feel betrayed and want to find my siblings. Don’t waste your life picking at what your parents kept from you, I think it was wrong but you can’t alter what’s gone, but you can the future and how you choose to respond. He did what he wanted and your mom went along with it, I think she should give you closure even if it makes her uncomfortable, it was her choice. I feel for you.💐

GrannySomerset Sat 10-Apr-21 16:19:03

I discovered a younger half sister when I was in my mid sixties. Our father had died when we girls were 2 and 4 and I suspect my mother knew but never said anything. My father’s brothers certainly knew but our wasn’t the sort of family to talk about such things.

I established contact with my half sister and we have met several times, but although we are quite alike we have no shared history and this makes a close relationship difficult. I am OK about this though had my father not become ill and died I suspect he would have left my mother and me and that would have been much more difficult to deal with.

Give yourself time to think about it before you decide what to do. I am so nosey that I couldn’t have just left the information to lie but you may feel differently. It certainly changes the way you view your father but it doesn’t change you. Good luck.

Bibbity Sat 10-Apr-21 18:50:07

Have you considered doing something like 23&me or one of the other DNA databases that will link you to your relatives.

lavenderzen Sat 10-Apr-21 18:58:27

How very hard for you.
Hard for your mother also she must have been heartbroken but she kept the hurt inside to protect you, she did this because she loved you.
Be very, very careful what you decide to do next. Sometimes these things are best left where they are.
If you can talk to a counsellor it may help.

Nonogran Sat 10-Apr-21 19:11:17

My mum is very very old. I too have a half maternal sister, born before my parents' marriage. I'd like to find her but will wait until I can't cause issues for Mum who likes to "forget" about the agony of giving up her toddler for adoption during late WW2.
The only thing is, what can of worms might I open? I'd love to find a sister as I don't have one & would love to have my search turn out well but supposing it doesn't? I'm in two minds & not getting any younger, nor is she.

sodapop Sat 10-Apr-21 20:40:25

Stop and give this some thought before talking to others or looking for family members Polarbear you could be stirring up a hornets nest for other people.
You feel angry and upset but don't let this affect other innocent people. As lavenderzen said some things are best left as they are.